Rising above political interests must for national progress:President


-File Photo

ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain Thursday said raising above individual and parochial interests was imperative to attain higher objectives of national progress and prosperity and stressed large heartedness to ensure continuity of political process.

Addressing the joint sitting of the Parliament at the start of the new Parliamentary Year, the President attributed the root cause of political or economic conspiracies,misgivings about national security and other intricate issues;in the events of the past, wrong decisions and policies adopted for short term objectives.

He said usually such state of affairs was blamed on political opponents to belittle them, and termed it the primary cause of most of the political problems that led to a halt in the process of development.

The President quoted from Surah-e-Hashar of the Quran;

“Those who are saved from the covetousness of their own souls, they are the ones that achieve prosperity.”

The President said “some short-sighted elements” during different phases in history were responsible for weakening the relationship between individual and the State.

He stressed the role of leadership for safeguarding the rights of those who resorted to illegitimate means in despair when meted out unequal treatment by the State.

“In such circumstances, it is the leadership which provides a sense of security to the common man through its broad vision and practical steps,” he said.

President Mamnoon said parliament was the reflection of the thoughts of nation and was also a source of guidance as every person of the country considered himself a stakeholder in the decisions taken by the august House.

He emphasized on creating a congenial atmosphere for better utilization of national resources for the welfare of people.

“Let’s come forward and join hands to make this House a medium of achieving national objectives because our goal should be to have a parliament envisaged by our forefather especially Allama Iqbal who expounded the Pakistan ideology,” he said.

President Mamnoon Hussain said democracy in the country has seen many ups and downs and has passed through turbulent times.

He said the Parliament was successfully continuing its journey towards the achievement of its true goals. He said the parliament has emerged as a symbol of national unity, despite severe political differences.

“The role of the Parliament will be remembered in history, for which I congratulate all of you and the whole nation.”

The President during his address to the joint sitting attended by the Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, governors of the four provinces, diplomats, services chiefs, said a strong feeling was emerging to ensure tangible steps to include the marginalized classes in the development process.

He commended the steps being taken to bring Balochistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in national mainstream and hoped that rising above their vested interests, all segments of society would participate in national reconstruction.

President Mamnoon Hussain said during the last few decades the country’s precious resources have been squandered due to directionless and non-deliberate policies.

“I am thankful to Almighty Allah that now the nation perceives the sense of loss and has the passion of doing something about it.”

He mentioned the trade and investment friendly polices of the state, CPEC for connectivity between continents and power projects to overcome the energy crisis, as a manifestation of this plan.

The president pointed out that difference of opinion on the process of development and rights on the national resources among different segments of the society was not unusual and debate leads to paving way for reforms.

However, he said, at the same time it was imperative to stop chaos, emerging difference of opinion through a well thought out strategy, so as to thwart efforts to make the process of development controversial.

The President said the government’s ‘Vision 2025’ programme was focused on stability of economy and the welfare of people and urged upon all political parties to declare it as a national plan through consensus.

He said no matter which political party was in power, the welfare of people need not hampered at any cost.

He mentioned that the country’s economic indicators were healthy as the growth rate remained at the highest level of 23 billion dollars with remarkable decline in inflation.

He said international monetary ranking institutions including Moody’s had given positive ranking to Pakistan and the World Bank had now included the country in the list of best-performing economies of South Asia.

He expressed satisfaction over the economic overview, however stressed that these successes would lead to real happiness only if contributed towards bringing respite in the lives of people.

President Mamnoon emphasized on paying more attention to education and health and said forward-looking nations invest heavily in human resource and infrastructure for sustainable development.

He pointed out the decrease in country’s exports and expressed hope that Ministry of Commerce would look into a permanent and effective solution.

He mentioned that defence products of highest quality could easily capture prospective buyers in international markets.

He lauded contribution of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) for financial empowerment of women.

President Mamnoon Hussain said commendable steps had been taken by the government towards providing healthcare facilities to the people, particularly the Health Insurance Scheme.

However, he mentioned unavailability of medical facilities in far-flung areas due to negligence and incompetence of a few and called for establishment of more hospitals and health units to cater to the needs of growing population.

He said significant advancement had taken place in traveling facilities due to construction of new highways and improvement in mass transit systems including Metro and Green Line.

He said the government had allocated considerable funds for Azad Jammu and Kashmir, FATA and Gilgit Baltistan at par with other parts of the country.

Terming agriculture as the country’s backbone, the president called for taking continuous steps for its development and betterment of farmers.

He expressed satisfaction over provision of fertilizers and other agricultural input on low prices and urged upon the federal and provincial governments for a joint strategy to address challenges of climate change.

On electricity generation, President Mamnoon said the issue would be resolved permanently with start of recently set up electricity projects.

He said connecting Gilgit Baltistan with national grid would increase power production after completion of Bhasha, Dasu and Bunji dams.

He stressed promotion of tourism through upgradation of facilities in view of the immense natural beauty of the country. —APP